By Eldred Thomas |
The Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia is calling on the National Legislature to abandon its quest to make rape a non billable offense.
AFELL President Atty. Vivian Neal called on the national Legislature, especially the House of Senate to abandon their quest in making rape an unconditional billable offense.
Sinoe county Senator Milton Teahjay had proposed to his colleagues to amend the rape law billable offense.
But speaking with journalists Wednesday in Monrovia, the AFELL President Atty. Neal believes such amendment of the law will give rise to the wave of rape incidents across the country.
The Liberian Female Lawyer strongly condemned the continuous raped and brutal murders of women and young girls across the Country.
“Our lawmakers must be thinking this direction giving the wave of rape cases in the country damaging the future of young girls and women, she stressed”.
According to the AFELL, such acts have sent some of the victims to their early graves while others are faced with psychological trauma that may not easily be healed.
Rape is a non-billable offense under the current Rape Law of Liberia with perpetrators having no access to parole while serving his/her term in prison.
The act is a first and second degree felony.
The passed amended version of the Rape Law has been sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
Liberia has ratified or acceded to the core international human rights treaties 15 and is a party to the major regional human rights instruments 16 which oblige States to respect, protect and fulfill human rights of all persons within the territory and subject to the jurisdiction of the State, without discrimination.
She used the occasion to commend the Ministry of Justice for arrests made so far in cases involving the raped and murders of women and young girls, but call for speedy trial in order for justice will be served.
Atty Neal recounted the death of a woman who was beheaded in Zorzor, Lofa county, a wife who was shot by her husband in cow farm Zota district Bong county, a 13 year old girl who was gang raped in Maryland county and of recent a 17 year old girl who was reported raped and murder in Gbartala Bong County are worrisome.
She noted that AFELL is stands ready to work with the Ministry of Justice in prosecution of those and other sexual Gender Based Violence cases in Liberia.
The AFELL President is at the same time called on women groupings, young girls and Civil Society Organizations to wear black this and every Thursday to demonstrate their solidarity and protest against Sexual Gender Based Violence.
Atty. Neal intimated that the Association also mourns the death of victims of SGBVs in Liberia and wants those found in such act to desist and see women and young girls as their own for the growth and development of our country.